My own journey to body confidence has taken many years, but i can pinpoint the significant experiences that have made a real difference. Helping others accelerate their journey is something I’m passionate about. Finding the mentors, support networks, personal experiences and discussions on body image, has given me body confidence and confidence in all area’s of my life. If I can help others access these experiences at a younger age or any age, then I hope my journey can give others the confidence to own what they’ve got.

I first became self conscious about my body at a young age. I grew taller than a lot of the other girls in primary school and and my curves started kicking in not long after. Growing up as a dancer and spending much of my life in a leotard it was hard to miss. My body became my enemy stopping me from looking right in poses or wearing the tutu without a bra or being comfortable to jump. By this time I was going out and wanting to look fashionable like all my friends but others became conscious for me. Not only was the spaghetti strap fashion an impossible challenge for a girl who “had” to wear a bra but other older women began encouraging me to cover up and hide my shape. What they knew is that others would make judgements about me that I wasn’t ready for and I would attract the attention of men who assumed i was older than i was. But instead of protecting me it made me feel my body was something to be ashamed of. To me I was just big! I was only a size 12! I didn’t understand my body at all. I lost the energy to fight against the obvious and lacked the knowledge to work with my body. I felt alone in my struggle and isolated from my friends. I didn’t have social media or examples of many role models to know that i was not alone and that I didn’t have to be limited by my body. Infact my body would become my biggest asset!

I went on to dance in many forms, and also became a dance teacher where I saw many young girls facing the same challenges I had. I became a model and have walked fashion week runways and posed for a number of well known brands. I discovered how to dress for my shape and dress to make myself happy through learning about the history of fashion and gained the maturity and confidence to handle any attention I got. I was also lucky to meet and be exposed to so many inspirational women who inspire me to be a stronger woman in general and those who taught me to own and celebrate what nature gave me.  Now I see my body in a whole different light! I see it’s strength, it’s assets and the gifts it brings me, I couldn’t be happier to be me.

Carla xo

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